Dubai, March 7 (IANS) A trio of stars from Australia, England and South Africa — Ashleigh Gardner, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Laura Wolvaardt that dominated the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup — have been shortlisted for the ICC Women’s Player of the Month Award for February 2023.
Gardner won the award back in December and her inspirational all-round form in February earned her the Player of the Tournament prize as Australia claimed a sixth global T20 crown.
Sciver-Brunt followed up her recent ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year Award with a string of impressive batting performances, steering England to another World Cup semifinal.
Completing the lineup for the Women’s Player of the Month is leading run scorer from the event, Laura Wolvaardt, who thrilled in a series of performances that led South Africa to their maiden T20 World Cup Final.
Australian all-rounder Gardner arrived in South Africa atop the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings. Scoring 110 runs and taking ten wickets across the tournament, her vital contributions included a starring role in the thrilling semifinal victory over India, scoring a crucial 31 (18 balls) and taking two wickets in the match, one of which being the prized scalp of Smriti Mandhana.
Valuable runs in the final also earned Gardner the Player of the Tournament accolade, to sit alongside the ultimate prize — the Women’s T20 World Cup.
Despite falling short at the semifinal stage of the Women’s T20 World Cup, Sciver-Brunt proved a pivotal figure in England’s top order throughout the tournament thanks to her powerful hitting and varied strokeplay.
The England star recently celebrated scooping the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2022, and her extended spell of good form continued with four 40-plus scores across five matches, resulting in 216 runs at an average of 72.00.
Shortlisted for the ICC Women’s Player of the Month on five occasions, she is yet to seal her maiden award win, but is well-placed to break that run after a sterling February.
South Africa enjoyed a historic run to the Women’s T20 World Cup Final, owed in large part to the brilliance of Wolvaardt at the top of the order. The latter stages of the event saw the 23-year-old at her most mesmerizing, scoring big in wins against Bangladesh (66 not out), England (53) and in the Final against Australia (61).
The successive scores ensured Wolvaardt ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer with 230 runs, capping a memorable campaign for herself and her Proteas teammates.